US Hopeful About Post-2014 Deal on Afghanistan, Parliament Votes to Sack Interior Minister Over Deteriorating Security

Troops and money to remain in Afghanistan


this is the war that never ends
Sgt. Efren Lopez/US Air Force

President Obama has outlined a plan for Afghanistan that entails US involvement past the "withdrawal" date of 2014; US troops would stay to conduct counterterrorism missions and to help train Afghan security forces, things they've been doing pretty much since the start of the war in 2001. Congressman Walter Jones told Reason last year that "you can train a monkey to ride a bicycle in less time" than its taken the US to train Afghan security forces.

Now, Afghanistan's parliament voted to remove the interior minister, who is in charge of security forces, blaming him for the security forces' poor showing against the Taliban and accusing him of corruption. Hamid Karzai, whose presidential term expires next year, referred the matter to the Supreme Court. Karzai did his part earlier this year to scuttle US peace talks with the Taliban, while Pakistan sent an envoy to help open new peace talks with the Taliban, which it denies having control over.

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration floated the idea of a complete withdrawal by 2014 because of Afghanistan's unwillingness to negotiate the terms under which US troops would operate after that. Today, the chairman of the joints chief of staff downplayed that possibility, after Karzai reportedly agreed in principle on a post-2014 deal, which would also presumably secure the continuation of US money spent on the Afghan government. One country's wasteful spending is another country's fuel for corruption.